The Current Opinion journals were developed out of the recognition that it is increasingly difficult for specialists to keep up to date with the expanding volume of information published in their subject. Elsevier’s Current Opinion journals comprise of 16 leading titles in life sciences and adjacent fields.

Current Opinion in Pharmacology

5-Year Impact Factor: 6.447
Issues per year: 6 issues
Editorial Board

Current Opinion in Pharmacology

The Current Opinion journals were developed out of the recognition that it is increasingly difficult for specialists to keep up to date with the expanding volume of information published in their subject. In Current Opinion in Pharmacology, we help the reader by providing in a systematic manner:
1. The views of experts on current advances in pharmacology in a clear and readable form.
2. Evaluations of the most interesting papers, annotated by experts, from the great wealth of original publications

Division of the subject into sections
The subject of pharmacology is divided into themed sections, each of which is reviewed once a year. The amount of space devoted to each section is related to its importance.

NeurosciencesCardiovascular and renalRespiratoryMusculoskeletalCancerImmunomodulationAnti-infectives • New technologiesGastrointestinalEndocrine and metabolic diseases

Selection of topics to be reviewed
Section Editors, who are major authorities in the field, are appointed by the Editors of the journal. They divide their section into a number of topics, ensuring that the field is comprehensively covered and that all issues of current importance are emphasised. Section Editors commission reviews from authorities on each topic that they have selected.

Authors write short review articles in which they present recent developments in their subject, emphasising the aspects that, in their opinion, are most important. In addition, they provide short annotations to the papers that they consider to be most interesting from all those published in their topic over the previous year.

Editorial Overview
Section Editors write a short overview at the beginning of the section to introduce the reviews and to draw the reader's attention to any particularly interesting developments.

Ethics in Publishing: General Statement

The Editor(s) and Publisher of this Journal believe that there are fundamental principles underlying scholarly or professional publishing. While this may not amount to a formal 'code of conduct', these fundamental principles with respect to the authors' paper are that the paper should: i) be the authors' own original work, which has not been previously published elsewhere, ii) reflect the authors' own research and analysis and do so in a truthful and complete manner, iii) properly credit the meaningful contributions of co-authors and co-researchers, iv) not be submitted to more than one journal for consideration, and v) be appropriately placed in the context of prior and existing research. Of equal importance are ethical guidelines dealing with research methods and research funding, including issues dealing with informed consent, research subject privacy rights, conflicts of interest, and sources of funding. While it may not be possible to draft a 'code' that applies adequately to all instances and circumstances, we believe it useful to outline our expectations of authors and procedures that the Journal will employ in the event of questions concerning author conduct. With respect to conflicts of interest, the Publisher now requires authors to declare any conflicts of interest that relate to papers accepted for publication in this Journal. A conflict of interest may exist when an author or the author's institution has a financial or other relationship with other people or organizations that may inappropriately influence the author's work. A conflict can be actual or potential and full disclosure to the Journal is the safest course. All submissions to the Journal must include disclosure of all relationships that could be viewed as presenting a potential conflict of interest. The Journal may use such information as a basis for editorial decisions and may publish such disclosures if they are believed to be important to readers in judging the manuscript. A decision may be made by the Journal not to publish on the basis of the declared conflict.

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Best Cited over the last year.

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Dissecting components of reward: 'liking', 'wanting', and learning

In recent years significant progress has been made delineating the psychological components of reward and their underlying neural mechanisms. Here we briefly highlight findings on three dissociable psychological components of reward: 'liking' (hedonic impact), 'wanting' (incentive salience), and learning (predictive associations and cognitions). A better understanding of the components of reward, and their neurobiological substrates, may help in devising improved treatments for disorders of…

Volume 9, Issue 1, 01 February 2009, Pp 65-73
Berridge, K.C. | Robinson, T.E. | Aldridge, J.W.

Vitamin D: Modulator of the immune system

1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 (1,25(OH)2D3), the active form of vitamin D, is known to regulate calcium and phosphorus metabolism, thus being a key-player in bone-formation. However 1,25(OH)2D3 also has a physiological role beyond its well-known role in skeletal homeostasis. Here, we describe 1,25(OH)2D3 as an immunomodulator targeting various immune cells, including monocytes, macrophages, dendritic cells (DCs), as well as T-lymphocytes and B-lymphocytes, hence modulating both innate and adaptive…

Volume 10, Issue 4, 01 August 2010, Pp 482-496
Baeke, F. | Takiishi, T. | Korf, H. | Gysemans, C. | Mathieu, C.

Novel trends in high-throughput screening

High-throughput screening (HTS) is a well-established process for lead discovery in Pharma and Biotech companies and is now also being used for basic and applied research in academia. It comprises the screening of large chemical libraries for activity against biological targets via the use of automation, miniaturized assays and large-scale data analysis. Since its first advent in the early to mid 1990s, the field of HTS has seen not only a continuous change in technology and processes, but also…

Volume 9, Issue 5, 01 October 2009, Pp 580-588
Mayr, L.M. | Bojanic, D.

Lysophosphatidic acid (LPA) and its receptors

Lysophosphatidic acid (LPA), a bioactive phospholipid, and its family of cognate G protein-coupled receptors have demonstrated roles in many biological functions in the nervous system. To date, five LPA receptors have been identified, and additional receptors may exist. Most of these receptors have been genetically deleted in mice toward identifying biological and medically relevant roles. In addition, small molecule agonists and antagonists have been reported. Here we review recent data on the…

Volume 9, Issue 1, 01 February 2009, Pp 15-23
Noguchi, K. | Herr, D. | Mutoh, T. | Chun, J.

Inflammation and cancer: how friendly is the relationship for cancer patients?

Evidence has emerged in the last two decades that at the molecular level most chronic diseases, including cancer, are caused by a dysregulated inflammatory response. The identification of transcription factors such as NF-κB, AP-1 and STAT3 and their gene products such as tumor necrosis factor, interleukin-1, interleukin-6, chemokines, cyclooxygenase-2, 5 lipooxygenase, matrix metalloproteases, and vascular endothelial growth factor, adhesion molecules and others have provided the molecular…

Volume 9, Issue 4, 01 August 2009, Pp 351-369
Aggarwal, B.B. | Gehlot, P.

Cellular mechanisms of insulin resistance: role of stress-regulated serine kinases and insulin receptor substrates (IRS) serine phosphorylation

Insulin receptor substrates (IRS) serine phosphorylation is a time-controlled physiological feedback mechanism in insulin signaling that is hijacked by metabolic and inflammatory stresses to promote insulin resistance. Kinases, including IKKβ, JNK, ERK, mTOR, and S6K, activated by the inducers of insulin resistance induce uncontrolled IRS serine phosphorylation. Studies with genetically modified mice reveal that these kinases integrate signals from metabolic and inflammatory stresses in adipose…

Volume 9, Issue 6, 01 December 2009, Pp 753-762
Tanti, J.-F. | Jager, J.

Interplay between obesity and associated metabolic disorders: new insights into the gut microbiota

Obesity and associated metabolic disorders are worldwide epidemic. The literature provides new evidence that gut microbiota dysbiosis (at the phyla, genus, or species level) affects host metabolism and energy storage. Here we discuss new findings that may explain how gut microbiota can be involved in the development or in the control of obesity and associated low-grade inflammation. New powerful molecular biology methods and the use of gnotobiotic animal allowed to analyze the molecular link…

Volume 9, Issue 6, 01 December 2009, Pp 737-743
Cani, P.D. | Delzenne, N.M.

microRNAs and the immune response

Although the immune response is predominantly controlled at the transcriptional level, microRNA-mediated RNA interference is emerging as an important regulatory mechanism that operates at the translation level. Specifically, recent studies indicate that those miRNAs that are selectively and/or highly expressed in immune cells including the miR-17-92 cluster, miR-150, miR-155, miR-181 and miR-223 have a 'permissive' function in the maturation, proliferation and differentiation of myeloid and…

Volume 9, Issue 4, 01 August 2009, Pp 514-520
Tsitsiou, E. | Lindsay, M.A.

Peripheral mechanisms of opioid analgesia

Potent and clinically significant analgesic effects can be brought about by opioids acting outside the central nervous system. Injury and inflammation of peripheral tissues leads to increased synthesis, axonal transport, membrane-directed trafficking and G-protein coupling of opioid receptors in dorsal root ganglion neurons. These events are dependent on neuronal electrical activity, cytokines and nerve growth factor and lead to an enhanced analgesic efficacy of peripherally active opioids.…

Volume 9, Issue 1, 01 February 2009, Pp 3-8
Stein, C. | Lang, L.J.

Recent progress in fragment-based lead discovery

Fragment-based methods have emerged as a new strategy for drug discovery. The main advantages are that useful starting points for lead identification for most targets can be identified from a relatively small (typically 1000-member) library of low molecular weight compounds. The main constraints are the need for a method that can reliably detect weak binding and strategies for evolving the fragments into larger lead compounds. The approach has been validated recently as series of compounds from…

Volume 9, Issue 5, 01 October 2009, Pp 615-621
Schulz, M.N. | Hubbard, R.E.

The role of serotonin receptors in the action of atypical antipsychotic drugs

The main class of atypical antipsychotic drugs (APDs) in current use includes the protypical atypical APD, clozapine, as well as aripiprazole, asenapine, iloperidone, lurasidone, olanzapine, quetiapine, risperidone, and ziprasidone. At clinically effective doses, these agents produce extensive blockade of serotonin (5-HT)2A receptors, direct or indirect stimulation of 5-HT1A receptors, and to a lesser extent, reduction in dopamine (DA) D2 receptor-mediated neurotransmission. This contrasts with…

Volume 11, Issue 1, 01 February 2011, Pp 59-67
Meltzer, H.Y. | Massey, B.W.

Current concepts on the role of inflammation in COPD and lung cancer

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and lung cancer are leading cause of death, and both are associated with cigarette smoke exposure. It has been shown that 50-70% of patients diagnosed with lung cancer suffer from COPD, and reduced lung function is an important event in lung cancer suggesting an association between COPD and lung cancer. However, a causal relationship between COPD and lung tumorigenesis is not yet fully understood. Recent studies have suggested a central role of…

Volume 9, Issue 4, 01 August 2009, Pp 375-383
Yao, H. | Rahman, I.

Antiretroviral drugs

In October 2010, it will be exactly 25 years ago that the first antiretroviral drug, AZT (zidovudine, 3'-azido-2',3'-dideoxythymidine), was described. It was the first of 25 antiretroviral drugs that in the past 25 years have been formally licensed for clinical use. These antiretroviral drugs fall into seven categories [nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs), nucleotide reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NtRTIs), non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NNRTIs), protease…

Volume 10, Issue 5, 01 October 2010, Pp 507-515
De Clercq, E.

Anti-inflammatory and pro-inflammatory roles of TGF-β, IL-10, and IL-22 in immunity and autoimmunity

Cytokines play a major role in maintaining lymphocyte homeostasis under both steady-state and inflammatory conditions. Unregulated lymphocytes in steady-state conditions can lead to autoimmunity, whereas during inflammation they can cause excessive tissue damage. Regulatory cytokines function in combination with other environmental signals to properly modulate the function and the extent of lymphocyte activation. Many recent studies have highlighted the importance of regulatory cytokines in…

Volume 9, Issue 4, 01 August 2009, Pp 447-453
Sanjabi, S. | Zenewicz, L.A. | Kamanaka, M. | Flavell, R.A.

Inflammation and colorectal cancer

Patients with long-standing inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) have an increased risk of developing colorectal cancer (CRC). However, the underlying mechanisms are not entirely clear. A genetic basis for the increased risk of CRC in IBD patients is only a partial explanation. It is possible that high levels of inflammatory mediators that are produced in this setting may contribute to the development and progression of CRC. Growing evidence supports a role for various cytokines, released by…

Volume 9, Issue 4, 01 August 2009, Pp 405-410
Kraus, S. | Arber, N.

Stress hormones: physiological stress and regulation of metabolism

Stress, defined as a state of threatened homeostasis, mobilizes a complex spectrum of adaptive physiologic and behavioral responses that aim to re-establish the challenged body homeostasis. The hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis and the sympathetic nervous system (SNS) constitute the main effector pathways of the stress system, mediating its adaptive functions. In western societies, indices of stress correlate with increasing rates of both obesity and metabolic syndrome which have…

Volume 9, Issue 6, 01 December 2009, Pp 787-793
Kyrou, I. | Tsigos, C.

Therapeutic targeting of myeloid-derived suppressor cells

Myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) represent a subset of myeloid cells that expand under pathological conditions, such as cancer development, acute and chronic infections, trauma, bone marrow transplantations, and some autoimmune diseases. MDSCs mediate a negative regulation of the immune response by affecting different T lymphocyte subsets. Potential mechanisms, which underlie this inhibitory activity range from those requiring direct cell-to-cell contact with others, more indirect, and…

Volume 9, Issue 4, 01 August 2009, Pp 470-481
Ugel, S. | Delpozzo, F. | Desantis, G. | Papalini, F. | Simonato, F. | Sonda, N. | Zilio, S. | Bronte, V.

Allostery and population shift in drug discovery

Proteins can exist in a large number of conformations around their native states that can be characterized by an energy landscape. The landscape illustrates individual valleys, which are the conformational substates. From the functional standpoint, there are two key points: first, all functionally relevant substates pre-exist; and second, the landscape is dynamic and the relative populations of the substates will change following allosteric events. Allosteric events perturb the structure, and…

Volume 10, Issue 6, 01 December 2010, Pp 715-722
Kar, G. | Keskin, O. | Gursoy, A. | Nussinov, R.

Neuroinflammation in Alzheimer's disease: different molecular targets and potential therapeutic agents including curcumin

Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a neurodegenerative disorder of the elderly. Deposition of amyloid β plaque and associated neuroinflammation are the major hallmarks of AD. Whereas reactive oxygen species (ROS) and activated microglial cells contribute to neuronal loss, nuclear factor κB and apolipoprotein E participate in inflammatory process of AD. Current FDA approved drugs provide only symptomatic relief in AD. For broad spectrum of activity, some natural products are also being tested. Turmeric…

Volume 9, Issue 4, 01 August 2009, Pp 434-444
Ray, B. | Lahiri, D.K.

Prospects for the next anti-Pseudomonas drug

Pseudomonas aeruginosa is one of the most dreaded Gram-negative bacterial pathogens in hospitals. Not only it is among the most frequently isolated Gram-negative organisms in bloodstream and wound infections, pneumonia, intra-abdominal-sepsis and urogenital-sepsis, but also it is frequently found in patients with comorbid illnesses and compromised by in-dwelling catheters, tubes and surgery where mortality rates of more than 60% have been reported. Besides its intrinsic resistance to a number…

Volume 9, Issue 5, 01 October 2009, Pp 558-565
Page, M.G. | Heim, J.

Glutamate and reinstatement

The importance of glutamate in the reinstatement of cocaine-seeking behavior has been established. New molecular and neurochemical adaptations in the glutamatergic system which drive cocaine relapse have been identified, such as the ability of CB1 receptor stimulation to reduce basal glutamate levels and the involvement of the GluR1 receptor subunit in reinstatement. Furthermore, it is apparent that similar glutamatergic neuroadaptations arise after self-administration of cocaine, heroin,…

Volume 9, Issue 1, 01 February 2009, Pp 59-64
Knackstedt, L.A. | Kalivas, P.W.

MiRNAs as biomarkers and therapeutic targets in cancer

The knowledge that miRNA expression is frequently dysregulated in cancer has uncovered an entirely new repertoire of molecular factors upstream of gene expression, with exciting potential as novel biomarkers and therapeutic targets in cancer. Exploiting the unique characteristics of these molecules including their stability, tissue specificity, ease of detection and manipulation, will bring clinicians ever closer to achieving the goal of individualized cancer treatment. We present a…

Volume 10, Issue 5, 01 October 2010, Pp 543-550
Heneghan, H.M. | Miller, N. | Kerin, M.J.

Dimerization in GPCR mobility and signaling

Many types of cell surface as well as intracellular DNA-binding receptors exist and function as dimers; formation of homodimers or heterodimers appears to not only provide molecular mechanisms for agonist-induced activation but also increase specificity of ligand recognition and versatility of downstream signaling. G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) were long thought to be an exception, but in recent years a lot of evidence has accumulated that GPCRs also can form dimers, even though it is far…

Volume 10, Issue 1, 01 February 2010, Pp 53-58
Lohse, M.J.

Endoplasmic reticulum stress in β-cells and development of diabetes

The endoplasmic reticulum (ER) is a cellular compartment responsible for multiple important cellular functions including the biosynthesis and folding of newly synthesized proteins destined for secretion, such as insulin. A myriad of pathological and physiological factors perturb ER function and cause dysregulation of ER homeostasis, leading to ER stress. ER stress elicits a signaling cascade to mitigate stress, the unfolded protein response (UPR). As long as the UPR can relieve stress, cells…

Volume 9, Issue 6, 01 December 2009, Pp 763-770
Fonseca, S.G. | Burcin, M. | Gromada, J. | Urano, F.

Targeting the redox sensitive Nrf2-Keap1 defense pathway in cardiovascular disease: protection afforded by dietary isoflavones

Cells have evolved highly regulated defense systems, including the redox sensitive Nrf2-Keap1 signaling pathway involved in the transcriptional activation of phase II defense and antioxidant genes in oxidative stress. Increased generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in cardiovascular disease (CVD) leads to impaired endothelial function and reduced nitric oxide (NO) bioavailability. Although epidemiological evidence suggests that diets containing plant-derived isoflavones (phytoestrogens)…

Volume 9, Issue 2, 01 April 2009, Pp 139-145
Mann, G.E. | Bonacasa, B. | Ishii, T. | Siow, R.C.